A Blog Around The Clock

So, ….

are you a citizen journalist or just a blogger?

Depending on one’s definition of “journalist”, I guess.

Is a professional (i.e., someone paid by a news organization) who publishes in newspapers a journalist no matter what s/he is writing, i.e., publishing just anything: ads, horoscopes, comics, crosswords, Ask Sadie, op-eds, etc? If so, bloggers are journalists.

If the word is restricted to a person who uncovers new information and writes articles for the news pages only, than most of us (but not all) are NOT journalists.


  1. #1 John McKay
    September 28, 2006

    I generally define journalist rather narrowly, as a reporter. By that definition, I am not a journalist. Neither are news readers and many others involved in the journalism industry.

    As a parallel, take any specialized profession and look at how many people are employed in support and associated positions that do not do the stated task of the firm. How many people in an accounting firm are actual accountants and how many are not?

    I would say that most of us who blog about news and current events are not journalists–that is reporters–but are still involved in journalism. I think of my own position as a commentator or a features writer.

    The issue of getting paid or not is, I think, a separate problem. Pay simply determines whether you are professional or amatuer. An amatuer journalist is still a journalist.

  2. #2 WillR
    September 28, 2006

    While I do primary research for a number of my posts, I’d say the “newsiest” classification for what I do is commentator.

    Funny thing is I’ve progressed from the web to writing columns for a couple local print folks and am going to be doing some radio.

  3. #3 Brandon
    September 28, 2006

    I’m definitly just a blogger. Like Rosenau, I think ‘citizen journalist’ is just a horrible neologism. What in the world does ‘citizen’ mean here? It can’t have any of its ordinary meanings because they are all opposed to ‘noncitizen’, and as used in the phrase ‘citizen journalist’, it can’t be opposed to ‘noncitizen journalist’. On the other hand, there’s no point in stretching the term ‘journalism’ so wide that it would (for instance) include the publication of family newsletters. There’s got to be some difference between journalistic publication and other sorts of publication. And, while some bloggers do things that, at least in a rough, vague sense, may be called journalistic, I certainly don’t, and I don’t think most bloggers do, either. You don’t become an entertainment journalist simply by blogging regularly about your favorite TV shows; and so on through all the other sorts of topics that might be approached journalistically.

  4. #4 Elayne Riggs
    September 29, 2006

    I think lots of bloggers are citizen-journalist wanna-be’s. Me, I’m just a writer.

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